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new petition re driven grouse shooting (1 Viewer)

Debbie1905

Well-known member
Hi, I signed a couple of weeks ago then realized that I didn't really have a clue about the issue. So I have been studying it all from all sides of the argument, and have come to the conclusion that I am still happy that I have signed.
I have one major issue though. What would happen to the rural communities that depend either directly or indirectly from the shoots? Presumably a lot of people in the villages/towns around the shoots would go out of business? I know it sounds a bit 'Countryfile', but these are the sorts of issues that can wipe out the bigger ones.
Does anyone know roughly how many grouse moors are in the UK? I couldn't find this out. I found that anywhere from 2,500 to 4,000 people are directly/indirectly employed due to this industry - does that sound right?

I am still in favour of a ban (can't really see it happening in the near future though), and am becoming more and more concerned (as I get older and have more time on my hands to ponder these things) about our impact on our land, as well as our (general population) arrogance at putting our own species first, middle and last (I do it myself), but I suppose if we want to achieve anything for nature in our limited area of land, we have to be able to convince the people that it should be done.

I am asking here because you people all are so knowledgeable, and I am so not, and want to be, so I can get involved now I have a little time on my hands. (Thirty years too late to make a difference, I guess.) I don't think I've had an informed opinion on anything since The Style Council broke up, and then deciding which disposable nappies to put on my kids (!!!) (kids - another uninformed decision...) and they are all grown up now. Also, my short term memory is, well, I've forgotten what it is now, so I tend to forget what I've been told weeks/months ago - I'm writing it all down now!
Would love to hear your thoughts on this side of the issue - thank you so much.
Debbie
 

silver prince

Well-known member
hen harriers, have not been eradicated,because of globle warming,its because of one reason alone they interfere with the shooting of grouse,they are fully protected, but will not be tolerated on the moors so they have been removed. These people should realise, there very lively hood could be lost if they do not clean up there act. they refuse to be licensed ,by going for a ban means, people have woken up ,shooting is a minority sport ,and bird lovers out number shooters, i do hope they are worried,
 

Mickr

Well-known member
Hi, I signed a couple of weeks ago then realized that I didn't really have a clue about the issue. So I have been studying it all from all sides of the argument, and have come to the conclusion that I am still happy that I have signed.
I have one major issue though. What would happen to the rural communities that depend either directly or indirectly from the shoots? Presumably a lot of people in the villages/towns around the shoots would go out of business? I know it sounds a bit 'Countryfile', but these are the sorts of issues that can wipe out the bigger ones.
Does anyone know roughly how many grouse moors are in the UK? I couldn't find this out. I found that anywhere from 2,500 to 4,000 people are directly/indirectly employed due to this industry - does that sound right?

I am still in favour of a ban (can't really see it happening in the near future though), and am becoming more and more concerned (as I get older and have more time on my hands to ponder these things) about our impact on our land, as well as our (general population) arrogance at putting our own species first, middle and last (I do it myself), but I suppose if we want to achieve anything for nature in our limited area of land, we have to be able to convince the people that it should be done.

I am asking here because you people all are so knowledgeable, and I am so not, and want to be, so I can get involved now I have a little time on my hands. (Thirty years too late to make a difference, I guess.) I don't think I've had an informed opinion on anything since The Style Council broke up, and then deciding which disposable nappies to put on my kids (!!!) (kids - another uninformed decision...) and they are all grown up now. Also, my short term memory is, well, I've forgotten what it is now, so I tend to forget what I've been told weeks/months ago - I'm writing it all down now!
Would love to hear your thoughts on this side of the issue - thank you so much.
Debbie

I would guess that the number of people who actually work on driven grouse moors is not as great as often gets mentioned.

It has also been highlighted that if as many people work on them as claimed and the money they claim to put into the rural economy is correct then people are being paid below the legal minimum wage.

A shoot close to me claims to only have 8 days driven grouse shooting per year so again, the numbers working on grouse moors seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.

Even if they employ 20 beaters per shoot the numbers are low at 160 working days, that's about 7 months’ work for 1 person. It’s less than the working hours of a corner shop and we all subsidise this. It would be really interesting how much these jobs are costing in subsidies to these grouse moors. My guess is that a lot of the money goes into the rich landowners pockets.

The grouse moors are not run to employ people, they are run to make rich people richer and to make rich customers happy that they’ve managed to kill a lot of innocent birds and mammals for fun.

As for what will they do, certain places in Scotland make a lot of money from wildlife tourism. I don’t see why grouse moors which can become wildlife havens can’t do the same thing.
 

Boom

Well-known member
If you are really interested, Mark Averys book "Inglorious" is an extremely interesting read, covering a lot of these points and many more besides.

Cheers
 

Debbie1905

Well-known member
Thanks for your replies. Boom, I bought "Inglorious" last night and will start to read today. Mickr, thanks for your reply - I felt that the numbers I had seen didn't really add up, and I'm sure the landowners could find other means to make money. I also wonder what might happen to the moorland if the shooting was banned. I will get on with Mark Avery's book as I'm sure it will answer many of my questions.
 

Adam W

Well-known member
I would guess that the number of people who actually work on driven grouse moors is not as great as often gets mentioned.

It has also been highlighted that if as many people work on them as claimed and the money they claim to put into the rural economy is correct then people are being paid below the legal minimum wage.

A shoot close to me claims to only have 8 days driven grouse shooting per year so again, the numbers working on grouse moors seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.

Even if they employ 20 beaters per shoot the numbers are low at 160 working days, that's about 7 months’ work for 1 person. It’s less than the working hours of a corner shop and we all subsidise this. It would be really interesting how much these jobs are costing in subsidies to these grouse moors. My guess is that a lot of the money goes into the rich landowners pockets.

The grouse moors are not run to employ people, they are run to make rich people richer and to make rich customers happy that they’ve managed to kill a lot of innocent birds and mammals for fun.

As for what will they do, certain places in Scotland make a lot of money from wildlife tourism. I don’t see why grouse moors which can become wildlife havens can’t do the same thing.

I think you've completely missed the indirectly part. The numbers given are not meant to be people employed on the actual moor its the jobs that are indirectly linked to it such as hotels,pubs and restraunts etc that heavily rely on income from shooting especially as it mostly takes place outside of the main tourist seasons.
 

Robin Edwards

Well-known member
Is there a parallel business that causes so much adverse impact to our upland biodiversity where a line of defense is the amount of livelihoods benefiting/impacted if things need to change? Maybe we should not address drug trafficking using similar arguments?

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ibi.12356

Lets agree, game-keeping to protect commercial grouse moors is about complete removal of any species, protected or otherwise that might interfere with this objective to optimise income. This includes mountain hare, scottish wildcat, short-eared owl, merlin, peregrine - in fact any BoP and more. Did I miss Hen Harrier and do we consider these species to be collateral damage just because a small percentage of revenue that grouse shooting brings in, filters down to the local upland economies?

I can recommend reading Inglorious for anyone still unclear of what goes on - pages 70-73 would act as a good point of reference.
 

Mary

Registered User
Supporter
Thanks for your replies. Boom, I bought "Inglorious" last night and will start to read today. Mickr, thanks for your reply - I felt that the numbers I had seen didn't really add up, and I'm sure the landowners could find other means to make money. I also wonder what might happen to the moorland if the shooting was banned. I will get on with Mark Avery's book as I'm sure it will answer many of my questions.

There's an interesting entry on Mark's blog which might help http://markavery.info/2016/04/18/dear-minister-2/
 

SteveTS

Well-known member
For those struggling to find detail amidst the hyperbole the 'joint action plan to increase the English hen harrier' is attached in pdf below,
 
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Mickr

Well-known member
I think you've completely missed the indirectly part. The numbers given are not meant to be people employed on the actual moor its the jobs that are indirectly linked to it such as hotels,pubs and restraunts etc that heavily rely on income from shooting especially as it mostly takes place outside of the main tourist seasons.


I would guess that the nearest grouse moors to you are Muggleswick and Allenheads and very few of the visitors use the facilities you mention. See here https://cases.legal/en/act-uk2-267226.html to see where the grouse moor spending goes, most of it on assets which will benefit the grouse moor owner when he decides to sell up.
 

Sharp Shin

Stewart Belfield
For those struggling to find detail amidst the hyperbole the 'joint action plan to increase the English hen harrier' is attached in pdf below,

I think that the use of the word 'hyperbole' here is probably hyperbolic in itself. I presume that the word is used with pejorative intent. I think you are mistaking hyperbole with language that is strong and affective - which you might expect when discussing illegal shooting, poisoning and nest destruction.

As for the 'Joint Action Plan to increase the English Hen Harrier' - well, it's a rum-old plan that contains no targets to judge its success (such as target number of breeding Hen Harriers), and states its means in terms of "Gamekeepers and shoot managers are encouraged to follow best practice" ('encouraged'!). There's a clear and established conflict of interest between grouse moor management and hen harrier conservation, and I find it very hard indeed to see how this plan will prove effective in protecting hen harriers and improving their numbers.

And, don't forget that protecting the hen harrier is just one reason for banning driven grouse shooting (see my first earlier post on this subject). If you want an illustration of how gamekeepers and shoot managers are likely to treat anything that gets in the way of increasing their grouse numbers for shooting, see this example of how Mountain Hares are currently treated. Shocking eh? That's voluntary restraint for you.

Stewart
 
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Debbie1905

Well-known member
I've now read "Inglorious" by Mark Avery and, not being someone who really understands politics, or debating issues, I have read it more emotively, so I tend to say to myself "is that true?" to everything. I have to say this book answered all my questions, and removed any doubts I had about signing the petition. My only concern was about the effects on rural economy and rural livelihoods, but what really struck me reading the book was, how many rural economies and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed in the flooding in rural communities due in great part to the mismanagement of the land. Saving one apparently small rural economy (which is subsidised by us) costs not only other communities, but also the natural environment. To my mind now, it is a "no-brainer" as they say. Sign the petition, get driven grouse shooting banned.
 

peter.jones

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I've now read "Inglorious" by Mark Avery and, not being someone who really understands politics, or debating issues, I have read it more emotively, so I tend to say to myself "is that true?" to everything. I have to say this book answered all my questions, and removed any doubts I had about signing the petition. My only concern was about the effects on rural economy and rural livelihoods, but what really struck me reading the book was, how many rural economies and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed in the flooding in rural communities due in great part to the mismanagement of the land. Saving one apparently small rural economy (which is subsidised by us) costs not only other communities, but also the natural environment. To my mind now, it is a "no-brainer" as they say. Sign the petition, get driven grouse shooting banned.

All credit to you Debbie for taking the time to read up about it all, and coming to your own conclusion on the subject.
 

ProwlingBoy

Active member
For those interested the petition (which runs until 20th September) has now reached 32,000 signatures and has received a reply from the government minister responsible.

Former RSPB Conservation Director Mark Avery recently published an update on his blog 31,000 and Rising.

I too can recommend his book "Inglorious". It backed up and supplemented all I was told by an experienced local birder on a visit to the North Pennines in September last year.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
If anyone's still sitting on the fence about this I suggest they have a look at https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/ which has very interesting video footage of an armed man lurking on a grouse moor near a decoy model Hen Harrier. I don't think he was waiting for a No47 bus .... and he grabbed the decoy and legged it back to his Land Rover PDQ once he realised he'd been rumbled.
 

peter.jones

Well-known member
United Kingdom
For those interested the petition (which runs until 20th September) has now reached 32,000 signatures and has received a reply from the government minister responsible.
.

And one of the Government initiatives to improve the breeding numbers of Hen Harriers in England? Release them in Southern England! That's right, it is apparently easier to introduce them into a whole new area, than prevent them being shot in their current stronghold. In fact, they can release them in the South, and still shoot them in the North, and numbers will rise. Only a Statistician could come up with that one.

I could have sworn I signed a petition to help save the Hen Harrier, and mismanagement of uplands.. The first four paragraphs of their response deals with saving the Grouse shooting "industry".

You'd think, seeing all the Hillsborough news today, they would have learned their lesson forever about institutionalised corruption. Their day of shame will come. It might take a whole new, educated generation, to tip the balance but it will come in our lifetime.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
Following the decoy Hen Harrier incident (see above) the NT have issued the following statement:

The National Trust has today given notice that the current shooting leases at Hope Woodlands and Park Hall in Derbyshire will end in April 2018.

The charity said it had taken the decision to exercise a break clause in the lease to end the relationship four years early.

Andy Beer, National Trust’s Director for the Midlands, said: “We have a clear vision for land management and wildlife restoration on the High Peak Moors, which was developed in full consultation with our tenants and other key stakeholders.

All our tenants have signed up to deliver to the vision and understand their responsibilities. We work very closely with our tenants and support, consult and discuss any issues relating to the plan on a regular basis.

However, in this case we have decided, after a meeting with the tenant, that we should revoke the lease four years early as it became clear that we could no longer have confidence that they were committed to the delivery of our vision for the land.

We have given the tenant 22 months’ notice and will start the process of looking for a replacement in 2017, when we will be happy to receive applications from partners who can demonstrate how moorland management and shooting can deliver great nature conservation in a way that is compatible with public access.

We remain committed to the High Peak Moors Vision. As with all our conservation aims, we review and evaluate progress periodically. When considering renewals of individual shooting leases in future we will take into careful account the extent to which our objectives have been met, in particular relating to increasing raptor populations.”

Jon Stewart, General Manager, Peak District National Trust

The last sentence is very good news if they stick to their guns - time to join the NT perhaps.
 
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